Devoted grandson Lars overcomes mountainous challenge to help charities close to his heart

Lars Atkins atop the Matterhorn, with his MacMillan flagLars Atkins atop the Matterhorn, with his MacMillan flag
Lars Atkins atop the Matterhorn, with his MacMillan flag
A devoted grandson overcame a mountainous challenge by conquering the Matterhorn to raise £5,000 for two charities close to his heart.

Lars Atkins, who lives in Gosport, showed support for his grandparents’ cancer diagnoses by taking on an epic climb to gather funds for both Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The 25-year-old conquered the iconic Swiss peak after a gruelling climb to reach the 4,478m-high summit of the Matterhorn, one of the most recognisable mountains in

the world.

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Lars Atkins and Harry GoodliffLars Atkins and Harry Goodliff
Lars Atkins and Harry Goodliff

He arrived 98 minutes ahead of schedule and before any other climbers on the day.

Lars was inspired to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support after his grandmother Christine died from colon and throat cancer, as well as a recent diagnosis of colon

and rectal cancer for his grandfather Harold.

He said: “Losing my grandmother to cancer, and my grandfather’s recent cancer diagnosis, has made me more aware of the increasing numbers of people who are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the support that is essential to them.

“Since deciding to fundraise for Macmillan, I have researched the support available to cancer patients and their families and carers and it is amazing how much Macmillan invests to provide support.

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“The worry about my grandfather and what is going to happen is stressful but knowing that the Macmillan helpline is there with professionals who are ready to listen to my worries is a relief.

“The nurses, helpline, information and support centres and grants all provide valuable support at a distressing time and with this knowledge I can now ensure that my grandfather has the support he needs at each stage of his cancer journey.

“Since I decided to fundraise for Macmillan, friends and colleagues have shared their stories of how cancer has impacted their lives. The support they have received from Macmillan has been essential for them at a time in their lives that is very stressful.”

Along with his colleague Harry Goodliff, Lars travelled to Switzerland this month.

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Due to storm warnings on the mountain, the team had to begin early and pick up the pace to make sure they reached the summit before the weather worsened.

Harry had to make the difficult decision to turn back during the climb as he was experiencing extreme discomfort.

Lars, who had already hit his fundraising target of £5,000 before setting off, said: “There was a huge amount of difficulty in the summit push but since the sponsor and

donation target had already been hit, there was a sense of relief knowing that the summit was the last thing to do.

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“This has been a hard two months of four-hour gym sessions, responding to emails until midnight, rising again at 5:30am for work and other life commitments, organising

fundraising events and much more.

“Many aspects of this charity challenge were against the odds but, in that moment, it all became worth it.

"We took our pictures but there was no time to digest the moment as we had to descend quickly to avoid an incoming alpine thunderstorm.

“We made a swift descent and despite being aware of injuries I had taken in the climb, I was too full of happiness and a new sense of possibility to care.

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"I had raised £5,500 in around five weeks and I felt the team that I had made around me was unstoppable.

“I am hugely grateful for the Macmillan team I had the pleasure of working with and can only think of the amazing things that we could do in future.”

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